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Retired Minnesota defensive end Kenechi Udeze released a statement Thursday afternoon that contained some relieving information: His leukemia remains in remission. Udeze said he decided to retire this week because of side effects of his treatment.
Here's the full statement:
"My leukemia is still in remission and I am well. Unfortunately, however, I have decided to retire due to certain side effects from my pre-transplant treatment. I would like to thank the Wilf family and the Minnesota Vikings organization for their support. I would also like to thank my fans, friends and family for supporting me through everything. Last but not least, I would like to thank all of the medical professionals and staff in Minnesota who worked tirelessly to give me a second chance at life. God bless."
Udeze participated in all of the Vikings' spring practices, but he said in late May that he had been slowed at times by a condition known as neuropathy. It causes pain and numbness in hands and feet and has been connected with chemotherapy in leukemia patients.
As you might recall, we profiled Udeze and his brother, Thomas Barnes, last summer as they prepared for bone marrow transplant surgery. I hope I speak for everyone in the Black and Blue in wishing Udeze and his family the best.